The aim of this course is to explore a variety of filmmaking practices in relation to historical and cultural trends in Japan from the 1910s to the end of the Second World War. While we will watch films of the great auteurs such as Mizoguchi, Ozu, and Naruse, the increasing number of subtitled films and DVDs of prewar Japanese cinema allows for unprecedented access to a wide variety of filmmaking practices. Hence, in addition to auteur films, we will watch old-school period films and adaptations from popular literature, high speed nihilistic action films, socialist “tendency” films, critical documentaries, melodramas, experimental film and animation, and wartime propaganda. Along with the films, we will read writings on film by a range of thinkers and artists to engage with a variety of issues, including gender, realism, modernism, propaganda, human/animal, violence, and mass culture. We will look at the ways cinema, as both a participant in and a unique reflection on modernity, fundamentally transformed the relationship of Japan to the world.
Course: TR 12:00-1:20, LC 201
Screening: W 7:00-10:00, LC 201